Berkshire Hathaway spins off General Motors, Procter & Gamble to build cash

Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway said on Tuesday it has reduced its stakes in General Motors Co and Procter & Gamble Co and reduced its stake in Inc, the business controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett The group’s cash reserves increased to a record US$157.2 billion.

In a regulatory filing detailing holdings in U.S.-listed stocks as of Sept. 30, Berkshire Hathaway had no holdings after reporting $848 million and $48 million in stakes in June. General Motors and Procter & Gamble, and said it would reduce its stake in Amazon by 5%.

Berkshire also appears to have sold a $621 million stake in specialty materials company Celanese.

One of the new positions is an $8 million stake in Atlanta Braves Holdings, which indirectly controls the MLB team and the Atlanta Battery, a mixed-use development next to the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park.

The Warriors were spun off from another Berkshire investment, Liberty Media, in July.

Tuesday’s filing details the bulk of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s investments in its stock portfolio, which totaled $318.6 billion as of Sept. 30.

Berkshire sold $7 billion in stock, including some of its large investment in Chevron, but bought just $1.7 billion in the third quarter, a period in which its holdings were in decline. Apple shares fell 12%.

For all of 2023, Berkshire sold $23.6 billion more stocks than it bought.

The net sales gave Berkshire a record cash stake, roughly the same size as its $156.8 billion stake in iPhone maker Apple.

Berkshire’s filing did not specify which investments were Buffett’s and which came from his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, or why they were made.

The larger investments are often Buffett’s, and investors often try to take advantage of Berkshire’s deals, which reflect Buffett’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest investors.

To this end, Berkshire decided not to disclose one or more of its holdings and said it had requested confidentiality from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Berkshire has occasionally requested this treatment for major investments, including multibillion-dollar stakes in IBM and Exxon Mobil held more than a decade ago, but neither investment currently appears to be Berkshire’s. .

Among other sales in the third quarter, Berkshire completed its exit from video game maker Activision Blizzard (acquired by Microsoft last month) and reduced its stake in life insurance company Globe Life.

Berkshire also sold about two-thirds of Markle’s shares, a notable change given that some investors in recent years have viewed the insurance and investment company as a “mini-Berkshire.”

Buffett, 93, has run Berkshire Hathaway since 1965.

His group also owns dozens of businesses, including Geico auto insurance company, BNSF railroad, energy and industrial companies, and consumer brands such as Benjamin Moore, Dairy Queen, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom and See’s Candies.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Christian Schmolinger and Lincoln Feast.)

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